Osteoporosis is a common complex disorder in postmenopausal women leading to changes in the micro-architecture of bone and increased risk of fracture. Members of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) gene family regulates the development and physiology of bone through the Wnt/?-catenin (Wnt) pathway that in turn cross-talks with the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway. In two cohorts of Swedish women: OPRA (n=1002; age 75 years) and PEAK-25 (n=1005; age 25 years), eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from Wnt pathway genes (LRP4; LRP5; G protein-coupled receptor 177, GPR177) were analyzed for association with Bone Mineral Density (BMD), rate of bone loss, hip geometry, quantitative ultrasound and fracture. Additionally, interaction of LRP4 with LRP5, GPR177 and BMP2 were analyzed. LRP4 (rs6485702) was associated with higher total body (TB) and lumbar spine (LS) BMD in the PEAK-25 cohort (p=0.006 and 0.005 respectively), and interaction was observed with LRP5 (p=0.007) and BMP2 (p=0.004) for TB BMD. LRP4 also showed significant interaction with LRP5 for femoral neck (FN) and LS BMD in this cohort. In the OPRA cohort, LRP4 polymorphisms were associated with significantly lower fracture incidence overall (p=0.008-0.001) and fewer hip fractures (rs3816614, p=0.006). Significant interaction in the OPRA cohort was observed for LRP4 with BMP2 and GPR177 for FN BMD as well as for rate of bone loss at TB and FN (p=0.007-0.0001). In conclusion, LRP4 and interaction between LRP4 and genes in the Wnt and BMP signaling pathways modulate bone phenotypes including peak bone mass and fracture, the clinical endpoint of osteoporosis.
Susceptibility to osteoporotic fracture is influenced by genetic factors that can be dissected by whole-genome linkage analysis in experimental animal crosses. The aim of this study was to characterize quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for biomechanical and two-dimensional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) phenotypes in reciprocal F2 crosses between diabetic GK and normo-glycemic F344 rat strains and to identify possible co-localization with previously reported QTLs for bone size and structure. The biomechanical measurements of rat tibia included ultimate force, stiffness and work to failure while DXA was used to characterize tibial area, bone mineral content (BMC) and areal bone mineral density (aBMD). F2 progeny (108 males, 98 females) were genotyped with 192 genome-wide markers followed by sex- and reciprocal cross-separated whole-genome QTL analyses. Significant QTLs were identified on chromosome 8 (tibial area; logarithm of odds (LOD)?=?4.7 and BMC; LOD?=?4.1) in males and on chromosome 1 (stiffness; LOD?=?5.5) in females. No QTLs showed significant sex-specific interactions. In contrast, significant cross-specific interactions were identified on chromosome 2 (aBMD; LOD?=?4.7) and chromosome 6 (BMC; LOD?=?4.8) for males carrying F344mtDNA, and on chromosome 15 (ultimate force; LOD?=?3.9) for males carrying GKmtDNA, confirming the effect of reciprocal cross on osteoporosis-related phenotypes. By combining identified QTLs for biomechanical-, size- and qualitative phenotypes (pQCT and 3D CT) from the same population, overlapping regions were detected on chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10. These are strong candidate regions in the search for genetic risk factors for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a severe condition in postmenopausal women and a common cause of fracture. Osteoporosis is a complex disease with a strong genetic impact, but susceptibility is determined by many genes with modest effects and environmental factors. Only a handful of genes consistently associated with osteoporosis have been identified so far. Inflammation affects bone metabolism by interfering with the interplay between bone resorption and formation, and many inflammatory mediators are involved in natural bone remodeling. The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been shown to affect bone density in rodents, and polymorphisms in the human MIF promoter are associated with inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. We investigated the association of polymorphisms in the MIF gene with bone mineral density (BMD) and bone loss in 1002 elderly women using MIF promoter polymorphisms MIF-CATT(5-8) and rs755622(G/C) located -794 and -173 bp upstream of the transcriptional start site. Bone loss was estimated both by the change in BMD over 5 years and by the levels of bone resorption markers in serum measured at four occasions during a 5-year period. The MIF-CATT(7)/rs755622(C) haplotype was associated with increased rate of bone loss during 5 years at the femoral neck (p<0.05) and total hip (p<0.05). In addition, the MIF-CATT(7)/rs755622(C) haplotype carriers had higher levels of the bone turnover marker serum C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (S-CTX-I, p<0.01) during the 5 year follow-up period. There was no association between MIF-CATT(7)/rs755622(C) and baseline BMD at femoral neck, total hip or lumbar spine. We conclude that MIF promoter polymorphisms have modest effects on bone remodeling and are associated with the rate of bone loss in elderly women.
The F344 rat carries alleles contributing to bone fragility while the GK rat spontaneously develops type-2 diabetes. These characteristics make F344×GK crosses well suited for the identification of genes related to bone size and allow for future investigation on the association with type-2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for bone size phenotypes measured by a new application of three-dimensional computed tomography (3DCT) and to investigate the effects of sex- and reciprocal cross. Tibia from male and female GK and F344 rats, representing the parental, F1 and F2 generations, were examined with 3DCT and analyzed for: total and cortical volumetric BMD, straight and curved length, peri- and endosteal area at mid-shaft. F2 progeny (108 male and 98 female) were genotyped with 192 genome-wide microsatellite markers (average distance 10 cM). Sex- and reciprocal cross-separated QTL analyses were performed for the identification of QTLs linked to 3DCT phenotypes and true interactions were confirmed by likelihood ratio analysis in all F2 animals. Several genome-wide significant QTLs were found in the sex- and reciprocal cross-separated progeny on chromosomes (chr) 1, 3, 4, 9, 10, 14, and 17. Overlapping QTLs for both males and females in the (GK×F344)F2 progeny were located on chr 1 (39-67 cM). This region confirms previously reported pQCT QTLs and overlaps loci for fasting glucose. Sex separated linkage analysis confirmed a male specific QTL on chr 9 (67-82 cM) for endosteal area at the fibula site. Analyses separating the F2 population both by sex and reciprocal cross identified cross specific QTLs on chr 14 (males) and chr 3 and 4 (females). Two loci, chr 4 and 6, are unique to 3DCT and separate from pQCT generated loci. The 3DCT method was highly reproducible and provided high precision measurements of bone size in the rat enabling identification of new sex- and cross-specific loci. The QTLs on chr 1 indicate potential genetic association between bone-related phenotypes and traits affecting type-2 diabetes. The results illustrate the complexity of the genetic architecture of bone size phenotypes and demonstrate the importance of complementary methods for bone analysis.
Damage to nerve cells and axons leading to neurodegeneration is a characteristic feature of many neurological diseases. The degree of genetic influence on susceptibility to axotomy-induced neuronal death has so far been unknown. We have examined two gene regions, Vra1 and Vra2, previously linked to nerve cell loss after ventral root avulsion in a rat F2 intercross between the DA and PVG inbred rat strains.
Local CNS inflammation takes place in many neurological disorders and is important for autoimmune neuroinflammation. Microglial activation is strain-dependent in rats and differential MHC class II expression is influenced by variations in the Mhc2ta gene. Despite sharing Mhc2ta and MHC class II alleles, BN and LEW.1N rats differ in MHC class II expression after ventral root avulsion (VRA). We studied MHC class II expression and glial activation markers in BN rats after VRA. Our results demonstrate that MHC class II expression originates from a subpopulation of IBA1(+), ED1(-), and ED2(-) microglia. We subsequently performed a genome-wide linkage scan in an F2(BNxLEW.1N) population, to investigate gene regions regulating this inflammatory response. Alongside MHC class II, we studied the expression of MHC class I, co-stimulatory molecules, complement components, microglial markers and Il1b. MHC class II and other transcripts were commonly regulated by gene regions on chromosomes 1 and 7. Furthermore, a common region on chromosome 10 regulated expression of complement and co-stimulatory molecules, while a region on chromosome 11 regulated MHC class I. We also detected epistatic interactions in the regulation of the inflammatory process. These results reveal the complex regulation of CNS inflammation by several gene regions, which may have relevance for disease.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II is of critical importance for the induction of immune responses. Levels of MHC class II in the nervous system are normally low, but expression is up-regulated in many disease conditions. In rat and human, variation in the MHC class II transactivator gene (C2ta) is associated with differential expression of MHC class II and susceptibility to autoimmune disease. Here we have characterized the response to facial nerve transection in 7 inbred mouse strains (C57BL/6J, DBA/2J, 129X1/SvJ, BALB/cJ, SJL/J, CBA/J, and NOD). The results demonstrate differences in expression of C2ta and markers for MHC class I and II expression, glial activation, and T cell infiltration. Expression levels of C2ta and Cd74 followed similar patterns, in contrast to MHC class I and markers of glial activation. The regulatory region of the C2ta gene was subsequently sequenced in the four strains (C57BL/6/J, DBA/2J, SJL/J and 129X1/SvJ) that represented the phenotypical extremes with regard to C2ta/Cd74 expression. We found 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms in the type I (pI) and type III (pIII) promoters of C2ta, respectively. Higher expression of pI in 129X1/SvJ correlated with the pI haplotype specific for this strain. Furthermore, congenic strains carrying the 129X1/SvJ C2ta allele on B6 background displayed significantly higher C2ta and Cd74 expression compared to parental controls. We conclude that genetic polymorphisms in the type I promoter of C2ta regulates differential expression of MHC class II, but not MHC class I, Cd3 and other markers of glial activation.
Osteoclast activity and the fine balance between bone formation and resorption is affected by inflammatory factors such as cytokines and T lymphocyte activity, mediated by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, in turn regulated by the MHC class II transactivator (MHC2TA). We investigated the effect of functional polymorphisms in the MHC2TA gene (CIITA), and two additional genes; C-type lectin domain 16A (CLEC16A), in linkage disequilibrium with CIITA and Interferon-? (IFNG), an inducer of CIITA; on bone density, bone resorption markers, bone loss and fracture risk in 75 year-old women followed for up to 10 years (OPRA n = 1003) and in young adult women (PEAK-25 n = 999). CIITA was associated with BMD at age 75 (lumbar spine p = 0.011; femoral neck (FN) p = 0.049) and age 80 (total body p = 0.015; total hip p = 0.042; FN p = 0.028). Carriers of the CIITA rs3087456(G) allele had 1.8-3.4% higher BMD and displayed increased rate of bone loss between age 75 and 80 (FN p = 0.013; total hip p = 0.030; total body p = 3.8E(-5)). Despite increasing bone loss, the rs3087456(G) allele was protective against incident fracture overall (p = 0.002), osteoporotic fracture and hip fracture. Carriers of CLEC16A and IFNG variant alleles had lower BMD (p<0.05) and ultrasound parameters and a lower risk of incident fracture (CLEC16A, p = 0.011). In 25-year old women, none of the genes were associated with BMD. In conclusion, variation in inflammatory genes CIITA, CLEC-16A and INFG appear to contribute to bone phenotypes in elderly women and suggest a role for low-grade inflammation and MHC class II expression for osteoporosis pathogenesis.
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